You don’t necessarily think of the Chicago Cubs first when considering the coming deluge of top rookies – seriously, the 2022 class across baseball is gonna be loaded – but when Baseball America released its top 20 rookies list for 2022, there were two Cubs names in the top nine.
You can probably guess them, and you can also see why they DO make a list like this, but also why they are a little different than your standard big-time coming rookie – Seiya Suzuki, because he’s a 27-year-old star coming over from Japan, and Brennen Davis, because we won’t know for sure when he’s going to debut until a lot of the season plays out.
Still, on a list with some of the biggest names in baseball (Witt, Rodriguez, Rutschman, Greene, Torkelson oh my), Suzuki comes in at number six – the top rookie in the National League – and Davis comes in at number nine:
6. Seiya Suzuki, OF, Cubs
Long considered one of the top players in Japan, Suzuki is only now entering his prime. He won his second batting title and fifth Gold Glove award last year while hitting a career-high 38 home runs, all wrapped around leading Japan to a gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics. His towering pull-side power and above-average defense and arm strength in right field should help him contribute immediately.
.333: Suzuki’s batting average against fastballs 95 mph and above in Japan last season
9. Brennen Davis, OF, Cubs
Davis didn’t focus solely on baseball until his senior year of high school and has been sidetracked by injuries as a professional, yet he still reached Triple-A after just 152 career games. His premium athleticism and growing power give him a chance to be a focal point of the Cubs’ rebuild as soon as this summer.
838: The combined distance, in feet, of Davis’ two home runs at the Futures Game last year at Coors Field in Denver.
Certainly, if the Cubs are going to have surprise success in 2022 (or in 2023, for that matter), it’s going to take things like “two rookies really blow up,” so hopefully Baseball America is right.